So much changed with one missed assignment by Nat Dorsey.
Phil Dawson’s field goal was blocked. The Browns fell to
1-2. The red-eye flight got longer. The world, and the team itself, views the team differently.
If Dorsey had held firm at the point of attack and Dawson’s field goal had been good, the Browns still would’ve been terrible against the run. The secondary still would’ve been gashed for big plays. Derek Anderson still would’ve been inconsistent.
And coach Romeo Crennel said he still would’ve been disappointed with the performance.
But a win would’ve allowed the team to say: We played poorly, yet managed to rally for a victory. The team could’ve learned from its mistakes — and there were a multitude — while celebrating a win. It’s a scenario reserved for the better teams in the league, and one not enjoyed by the Browns for quite some time. It would’ve been a sign of progress.
“It just shows the difference between a win and a loss and how close everything is,” right tackle Kevin Shaffer said Monday. “Now this whole week, the speech afterward, what we’re going to hear all week, how practice is going to be — everything is so different.”
That’s how things go in Browns Town. Dorsey “relaxes,” the kick is rejected and the two-game winning streak is up in smoke.
The Browns may have more talent this year. They may be a better team. Neither matters if they don’t win games they’re supposed to win – and this was a perfect chance.
Some fans have complained about the rule that allows a coach to call timeout from the sideline just a fraction of a second before the ball is snapped. Raiders coach Lane Kiffin used the rule to his advantage, calling a timeout before Ryan Pontbriand could snap the ball for Dawson’s last-second field-goal attempt.
The rule looks bad because the kicker doesn’t know play’s been stopped and goes ahead with the kick. Just like the week before when Oakland’s Sebastian Janikowski appeared to kick the winner vs. Denver, Dawson’s try sailed through the uprights and some of his teammates began to celebrate.
The whole scene is weird, but there’s nothing wrong with the rule. During the normal course of the game it allows the coach to call timeout without getting the attention of his players. It can save a team from taking a penalty, getting caught in a poor matchup or wasting precious seconds. The players have other things to worry about, while the coach can focus on the clock and the timeouts.
Crennel even admitted Monday the rule does more good than bad.
The rule didn’t cost the Browns the game. The Raiders didn’t try on the initial kick and just as easily might’ve blocked that one. While the entire scenario isn’t ideal, it doesn’t need to be changed.
THE D.A. WAY
One half filled with bad choices, wayward throws and missed opportunities. The other a better example of quick decisions, quality throws and a nearly game-saving rally.
Get used to it. That’s Derek Anderson.
He’ll follow a good game with a bad half. He’ll follow the bad half with enough good plays to give the team a chance and keep him on the field. (Note: Even when he’s good he has two interceptions dropped every game.)
Anderson will get the start this week and probably next week vs. New England. But if the Bad Derek shows up more than the Good Derek, don’t be surprised if both Dereks are watching from the sideline as Brady Quinn makes his debut Oct. 14 vs. Miami.
BODDEN IN COURT
BEREA — The attorney for Browns cornerback Leigh Bodden has gotten some more time.
Bodden was in Cleveland Municipal Court on Tuesday for a pretrial hearing on charges stemming from his arrest earlier this month at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Defense lawyer Angelo Lonardo got the case continued until October 30.
Police accused Bodden of driving backward through a one-way area and becoming verbally abusive. He has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of aggravated disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
The charges carry a sentence of up to six months in jail. Bodden also faces possible discipline from the NFL under commissioner Roger Goodell’s crackdown on player misconduct.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.